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Pan Ocean Q2 earnings up 98% to US$35.6m

SOUTH Korean bulk carrier Pan Ocean Co has posted a net profit of US$35.6 million for the second quarter, up 98.4 per cent from the same period a year earlier as net losses from non-operating income shrank 97.4 per cent to US$330,000.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 rose 12.7 per cent to US$630 million. Operating profit rose 7.7 per cent to US$46.5 million.

After weak market conditions over the past few years, fleet growth increased marginally for the first half of 2018, the group said.

The group said in its filing on Tuesday: "The average Baltic Dry Index (BDI) was 1,217 points for the first half of 2018, which rose significantly above 25 per cent from 975 points in the first half of 2017. The dry bulk market is usually low in the first half due to seasonal factors.

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"In addition, this figure is 6.3 per cent higher than the BDI average annual rate in the previous year. For this reason, the market is expected to improve for the remaining period of 2018."

The group added: "The demand (for dry bulk trade) in the rest of 2018 will continue to strengthen with the strengthening of Chinese demand for high-grade imported iron ore especially from Brazil... The steadily increasing grain exports from United States and South America will also contribute to the growth of trade volume."

Earnings per share was US$0.13, up from US$0.09 for the same period a year earlier.

Net asset value per share was US$4.33 as at June 30, up from US$4.21 as at Dec 31 last year.